In today's marketplace, companies are constantly seeking their moment, day, or --if they are lucky--year on the top of the "best of" list for new, unique, and/or fabulously redesigned goods or services. The sheer number of competitors in any given industry, combined with the pace at which novel consumables and services are offered, makes it ever more difficult for companies to capture and maintain significant market share. While wittyphrases and eye catching symbols still lead the race in the types of trademarks typically filed-for and registered, non-conventional marks, including color, scent, audible, taste, and configuration marks, are no longer a rarity. And, because consumers react strongly to nontraditional trademarks, these types of marks can create even greater brand strength and product loyalty than traditional logos and brand names. When it comes to protecting such non-traditional marks, the United States and Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") … [Read more...] about Scent Trademarks: Have Sense About Scents
Vetac good scent
Like a number of others who market luxury goods to upscale clients, Maryann Mihalopoulos isn’t ready to give up her day gig.A lawyer who runs a business litigation and divorce firm in Dallas, the 47-year-old mother of three also manufactures and sells Xela Aromasticks reports the International Herald Tribune. The product uses an ancient method and high-end materials to scent the air with fragrant oils.What started as a tiny backyard operation in 2000 as grown to a seven-employee company with $1.5 in annual sales, she says. At the beginning, “I used to pay my hair stylist by the hour to investigate the oils.” … [Read more...] about Practicing Lawyer Also Sells Luxe Goods
The human senses have the powerful ability to trigger memories and help retain information. The tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” helps millions of kids learn the alphabet every year, and even adults retain that tune when they have to recite the ABCs. The smell of freshly baked cookies can transport us back to memories of youth helping bake in grandma’s kitchen.Is it possible to harness these powerful sensory triggers to promote a company’s brand? The answer is yes!The Lanham Act defines “trademark” in broad terms. Under Lanham Act § 45, 15 U.S.C. § 1127, a trademark is “any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof” used to “identify and distinguish [a person’s] goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods.”Under this broad definition, a trademark can be anything that can be detected … [Read more...] about Embracing Nontraditional Trademarks: Expand Your Brand Through All the Senses!
On July 12, 2017, the EEOC filed suit in the Middle District of North Carolina alleging that an employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing a request to telecommute from an employee with a sensitivity to workplace smells.In the lawsuit filed against Advanced Home Care, Inc., the EEOC claims that the employee asked her supervisor on three separate occasions if she could work from home to avoid exposure to the fragrances and odors she encountered in the workplace, since those scents aggravated her asthma and COPD. However, the employee’s supervisor allegedly ignored the requests to telecommute, even though the employee worked as a case manager for patients requiring home services and could have performed her essential duties from home. The EEOC asserts that the employer’s rejection of the request to telecommute, without first conducting an individualized assessment of the requested accommodation, was a violation of the ADA.The filing of this … [Read more...] about That Stinks! EEOC Sues on Behalf of Employee Denied Relief from Workplace Smells
The biggest changes to Canadian trademark law in 60 years are coming soon – most should be in force before the end of 2014. The changes will affect everyone whose business involves branding in Canada. While all of the provisions are intended to streamline the registration process for legitimate users, many observers fear that at least one of the changes will create easy opportunities for squatters to sit on rights that should legitimately belong to others, until the squatters are forced away – at considerable expense, and, in many cases, with considerable statutory delay – or simply paid to go away. Other amendments will raise renewal fees for granted trademarks. Trademark owners should consider renewing now in order to save money. In view of the wide range of amendments, and their varying effects on trademark protection strategies, anyone using brands in Canada should consult with their trademark agents. At a minimum, anyone using an unregistered trademark in … [Read more...] about Major Changes Enacted for Canadian Trademark Law